Polk superintendent cleared; blames 'outgoing personality'

- Polk County Schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy has been cleared of any misconduct following an internal investigation.

The Polk County School Board hired an independent Tallahassee law firm to conduct the internal investigation after Associate Superintendent Greg Rivers filed nine formal complaints against LeRoy.

The Shiffen & Spellman law firm released a portion of the investigation on Monday. In it, they depict a professional and personal relationship between LeRoy and Rivers.

Among other professional complaints, Rivers accused LeRoy of treating him unfairly after developing a personal relationship with him. Both Rivers and LeRoy told investigators they regularly text messaged each other and would go out for drinks or lunch.

LeRoy told investigators she considered Rivers a "close platonic friend." The two admitted to exchanging Christmas gifts and birthday cards. Rivers also told investigators he made LeRoy compact disc music compilations.

But Rivers accused his boss of wanting more. He told investigators LeRoy attempted to kiss him during a work trip to Tallahassee in 2013, and also tried to hold his hand following a different work function.

He said when LeRoy felt unfavorably toward him, he was "subjected to a hostile work environment" and "treated very differently than other members of her staff."

Investigators say while the two shared a clear personal relationship, LeRoy did not violate School Board policy at any time.

LeRoy released a personally-funded video statement to the media on Monday.

"I have come to realize that what others describe as an outgoing personality can be misinterpreted by some. I regret that and have learned from it," she said.

Investigators recommended the School Board advise LeRoy and Rivers to keep relationships at a professional arm's length. They also recommended additional sexual harassment training for LeRoy and her entire cabinet.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Polk superintendent cleared; blames 'outgoing personality'
  • Gov. Scott visits first responders in Hillsborough
  • Florida to charge road tolls again, starting Thursday
  • Forged letter, fake checks leads to Clermont woman's arrest
  • 'Museum Day Live' coming to Tampa Bay museums
  • Sarasota teen not heard from since before Irma
  • Shelter opened for Withlacoochee River evacuees
  • Gov. Scott presses cities, counties for debris cleanup plans
  • Crash involving Georgia deputy leads to DUI arrest
  • Nanny Marissa Mowry, accused of molesting 11-year-old, is pregnant again